Agri financing picks up pace in fourth quarter as procurement begins

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Agriculture financing has picked up in the continued fourth quarter of fiscal 2021, as giant processors, exporters and merchants in paddy and groundnut have began procurement and pledge financing.

Leading agri-financing firms mentioned pledge financing for sugar too has picked up as the sector is ready to witness increased manufacturing.

While the farmer protest had impacted agri-financing in the November-December interval, it has now returned to normalcy, they mentioned.

Talking to ET, Sandeep Sabharwal, group chief govt at Sohan Lal Commodity Management (SLCM), mentioned: “Last year, the lockdown was imposed at the time of arrival of the rabi crops into the mandis which led to uncertainty in commodity trading … At Kissandhan, our wholly owned subsidiary for agri-financing, we witnessed an overall decline of 40-45% in the agri financing off-take. During Q3, the impact on the business was around 25-35%. However, during the current quarter, things have started improving and the overall impact on the business will come down to 10-15% compared to FY20.”

In the corporate’s warehousing and collateral administration enterprise, volumes had been severely impacted as a result of lockdown limiting motion of manpower and items carriers, he mentioned. “However, from the second half of the FY, business has shown a positive trend and business volume has more than doubled compared to the second half of FY2019-20.”

The ongoing farm protest and unseasonal heavy rains final 12 months simply earlier than the harvest season of soybean impacted the provision chains and logistics for a quick interval. The farm protests began round October and November final 12 months, at a time when the wheat crop was due for sowing in Punjab and Haryana, and it did have an effect on the agri credit score off-take, Sabharwal mentioned.

The unseasonal heavy rains earlier than the soybean harvest broken the crop by nearly 20%, which created an imbalance in the demand and provide situation, ensuing in non-utilisation of the agri financing facility by value-chain stakeholders.

“However, things have started improving as large processors, exporters and traders in paddy and groundnut have started procurement and pledge financing … Sugar production is expected to be better this time compared to last year, thereby financing under pledge will be more,” the SLCM group CEO added.

Prasanna Rao, CEO of Arya Collateral that provides finance by an built-in platform alongside storage options, mentioned the corporate is predicted to disburse greater than Rs 300 crore of loans in this fiscal 12 months by its fin-tech platform. Arya gives loans in opposition to the digital stability of commodities pledged as collateral. It additionally helps farmers promote their produce by linking them with patrons by its platform.

It expects to disburse greater than Rs 700 crore in FY22, Rao mentioned.

In India, the seven states of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana account for essentially the most demand for agri financing.

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